Keeping an emergency kit in your car all year round can help you stay safe and prepare for the unexpected.

Whether you put one together yourself or buy one instead, a well-stocked car emergency kit is a must if you want to continue your journey with minimal disruption.


Car Emergency Kit Essentials

Whether you have a dead battery or a flat tyre, it can be stressful dealing with a vehicle breakdown - especially if you don't have the required equipment to hand.

That's why there are certain items that you should always have in your car.

By keeping the following items handy in your car emergency kit, you can stay safe and administer basic medical care if needed:

  • Emergency contact list (paper copy)
  • First aid kit
  • Bottles of water
  • High-energy snacks
  • High-vis jacket
  • Reflective triangles
  • Ice scraper
  • Spare phone charger
  • De-icer
  • Snow shovel
  • Salt
  • A physical map
  • Car owner's manual
  • Blankets
  • Warm clothes
  • Spare hiking boots or wellies
  • Sunglasses
  • Jump leads
  • Tyre inflator
  • Spare tyre
  • Wheel-changing tools
  • Tool kit
  • Battery-operated torch
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Spare batteries
  • Entertainment (books, magazines, games)

You may wish to keep a wind-up torch and radio in your car instead of ones that rely on batteries for your own peace of mind.


Why Should I Keep an Emergency Kit in My Car?

Keeping an emergency kit in your car can give you the confidence that you can handle breakdowns and minor accidents safely.

By preparing for a range of emergencies – from getting lost to medical problems – you can save yourself time and stress in the moment.

You’ll be glad you packed games and books to keep yourself and any passengers busy whilst you wait for someone to come and help you if you break down.


What Should I Keep in My Car Emergency First Aid Kit?

You should keep the following items in your car emergency first aid kit:

  • Bandages
  • Burn dressings
  • Wound dressings
  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Antibacterial surface wipes
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Blunt-ended scissors
  • Washproof plasters
  • Disposable gloves
  • Face masks
  • A resuscitation face shield
  • Cold pack
  • Painkillers
  • Antihistamines

With these items in your car, you’ll be well-equipped to handle a range of basic medical emergencies.

You can buy a pre-assembled first aid kit for your car if you would prefer.

Keep your first aid kit somewhere easy to find and access in an emergency - like in the car boot or the glove compartment.

Bear in mind that certain items in a first aid kit – like bandages, medicine and cleaning supplies – can all expire and will eventually need to be replaced.

Somewhat surprisingly, it is not a legal requirement to carry a first aid kit in your personal car in the UK.

The guidelines can differ if you are using or providing a vehicle for professional working purposes.

If you are planning on driving abroad, however, certain European countries legally require that drivers carry first aid kits in their vehicles.



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